Proteas: Next stop India

2010-01-19 15:31
Sport24 columnist Arthur Turner (File)
Arthur Turner

South Africa leveled the Test series in style at the Wanderers by demolishing England by an innings and 74 runs.

Their ruthless approach was refreshing and they have continued to make a good start to 2010. The Proteas certainly did not deserve to lose a series they dominated and it could easily have been 3-1 in their favour.

England on the other hand will be satisfied with their tour having shared the Test series away from home against one of the top teams in world cricket. They also won a One Day International series in South Africa for the first time and shared the Twenty20 series.

The series showed that the referral system has both positive and negative aspects to it and will always have. The positive is that to a degree it ensures that the right decisions are made. However, once the two unsuccessful referrals have been used, batmen are once again vulnerable to human error.

The International Cricket Council will have to get the right balance between the number of referrals and what can be considered time wasting. Also, they will need to ensure that all the technology is available for the referral system to be used, unlike this series that did not have Snicko and Hot Spot.

The Proteas next assignment is India on the sub-continent, the conditions and patriotic crowds will make it a very tough tour. India is a quality team with very experienced players and is currently top of the ICC Test standings.

India are coached by two former South African players in Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons who has also coached the Proteas. They will know the South African players well and this will be an advantage for the Indian team.

South Africa are starting to get the balance of their squad right with the introduction of Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren who both enjoyed solid Test debuts. It is positive to see that they have been both retained in the Test squad for India.

However, they still need to address the opening berth position by finding a partner for Graeme Smith. Ashwell Prince once again failed at the Wanderers as he has done throughout the series, but the selectors have persisted with him for India.

The selectors have wisely included two specialist spinners in the Test squad in Paul Harris and Johan Botha. JP Duminy is a fast improving spinner and has become a bowling option for Graeme Smith and this is ideal for the sub-continent. Spinners hold the key to success on the sub-continent.

The Proteas have enjoyed success in India in the past. They won the Test series in 2000 under Hansie Cronje and Smith’s team shared the series in 2008. It should make for an enthralling contest between two of the leading Test teams in world cricket.

Arthur is a former cricket administrator and current player agent.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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